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stuck on a thought


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I am so stuck on the way I am thinking about myself it drives me in circles, I can't shake it. It is like a constant recording of myself giving myself crap, putting myself down till I feel crappy. I get that this is the automatic thoughts probibly that are keeping me down but regardless of how many positives I counter and the NO proof for it the thoughts are out of line but don't stop.

I think the big one is that I don't belong in places, and what happen I withdraw and then don't belong and feel bad and alone. When I look around at people I feel like "they know" as soon as they look at me like I have a big sign above me. I hate this feeling

I tell myself I am nice, I care about others so much, I work hard, I appreciate people, I go as far out of my way to make things nice for others for all the right reasons, I have not been told otherwise other then a few misunderstandings like I'm sure all others have but this gut feeling NEVER STOPS

I do want to hide, I wish sometimes I would not fight it anymore and just stay home alone already, turn off the phone/computer/ and others.

Anyways how do you fight a non-changing view of myself when powered by a automatic known unrealistic thought?

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  • 3 months later...

I wonder Nightfall if those of us (the caring for others but not ourselves type) have to really take a stand with ourselves. Somehow I sense this extra step might be required to help us in making the cognitive reframing technique effective. (Maybe a professional can get what I am trying to say – not sure I can be clear enough here)

I think it is safe to say that people like you and I have an understanding that people have a basic worth as a human being. We can look at how they interact / behave in the world and we are able to make a fair enough decision about them – about who they are. Yet we are not able to use that process on ourselves.

As you so clearly state:

I tell myself I am nice, I care about others so much, I work hard, I appreciate people, I go as far out of my way to make things nice for others for all the right reasons, I have not been told otherwise other then a few misunderstandings like I'm sure all others have but this gut feeling NEVER STOPS

So it is that gut feeling (core belief) that must be addressed first. A core belief as I understand it is something we took in as fact before we were old enough to determine if we even agreed with it or not. Without even realizing it we are operating from it – in other words we are not questioning if it is a correct belief or not – it is just there – that gut feeling! It is crazy making to think that we are operating under a belief that goes against the very things we stand for! How can we oppose the mistreatment of others and yet mistreat ourselves? How can we make such an exception to our own standards of the value of the human being? That faulty core belief is how!

So next time that metal dialog starts the trash talk use this thought as a tool… You know how some people have to grab hold of the concept – treat others as you would want to be treated. Well – so we are backwards! We must always remember to treat ourselves as we would treat others.

So take any experience where you do not feel you belong – and mentally envision someone else in the room thinking they do not belong – watch that person as they are moving back – feeling that pain and make yourself see and feel it in its clarity. Get mad, fired up and feel that healthy empathy you so easily find for others and at that moment you turn it right back on yourself. You are now tapping into some of your clearest thinking. Nightfall – that is your real belief on if anyone belongs or not – now fight for yourself as you would for any other human being. The dialog you create from doing that is the cognitive reframing piece to use when you catch yourself violating your own standards.

Say Again

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ASchwartz

Hi Nightfalls and everyone,

I tell myself I am nice, I care about others so much, I work hard, I appreciate people, I go as far out of my way to make things nice for others for all the right reasons, I have not been told otherwise other then a few misunderstandings like I'm sure all others have but this gut feeling NEVER STOPS

These are examples of affirmations and are different from a real assessment of your automatic thoughts and whether they are based on fact or not. You see, you can give yourself affirmations and they can help temporarily but they wear off. When you do an assessment of your automatic thoughts, you are looking for concrete facts, real life evidence to back them up. When you do that you will see they are either not based on facts or there are some partial facts that you are distorting.

For example, "I go out of my way to make things nice for people." If your automatic thought was "I am a selfish person," and you looked at the facts, you would have to make a list of those facts, then tell yourself that "it is not true that I am selfish" and make a list where you go out of your way to help others. You see, even then you could have a hard time convincing yourself that you are not "selfish" but, because you have facts about helping others or going out of your way, it will be a bit easier. Then, everytime you have that automatic thought and repeat the process it becomes a little easier to believe "I go out of my way for people."

Persistance and looking at concrete evidence is the way to go. It is like being a defense lawyer in court because in court, things are based on evidence and evidence must be factual. So, maybe you are selfish sometimes, well, you tell yourself, who isn't selfish sometimes. See what I mean???

It is not just cognitive behavioral therapy, it is just good therapy.

Allan :)

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Hi Allan,

I do try this alot and I do come up with good eg. like helping out a stranger in the rain packing boxes after work. or walking kids to school to help the other parents out that are working. offering to work extra to help out when it is too busy. I try really hard, all the time. I know this.

I think it is my mood thing, mabe I just don't like me for whatever reason, I feel like I'm mad and hurting and sad and empty like I'm not who I am I am someone else, when I sit alone I don't like me and I get all the thoughts that come with that regardles of the good I've done.

This is really frustrating, I am my worst enemy especially when down. It is hard to see your own pattern outwardly but feel it differently. Mabe that is where the depression is kicking me down.

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